FCI Academy Community School District IRN Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children Onsite Review Summary Report

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1 FCI Academy Community School District IRN /10/2012 Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children Onsite Summary Report Introduction The Ohio Department of Education s Office for Exceptional Children would like to extend appreciation to the district staff for their efforts, attention and time committed to the completion of the review processes. The following report is a summary of the selective onsite review conducted on May 15 and 16, 2012 by the Ohio Department of Education s Office for Exceptional Children (OEC) as part of its general supervision requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Am. Sub. HB1. The onsite visit consisted of the an IDEA of Special Education School Age Overview IDEA Educational consultants from OEC conducted IDEA review activities on May 15 and 16, During the IDEA, OEC consultants monitor the LEA s implementation of the IDEA to ensure compliance. The primary focus of the IDEA is to: Improve educational results and functional outcomes for all children with disabilities; and Ensure that LEAs meet program requirements under Part B of IDEA, particularly those requirements that are most closely related to improving educational results for children with disabilities. OEC focused the review on the following areas: Child Find; Delivery of Services; Least Restrictive Environment; Data Verification. Data Sources During the review, OEC considered information from the following sources: 1. Public Parent Meeting, Individual Parent Meetings and Written Comments On April 27, 2012, FCI Academy Community School mailed 44 OEC-approved letters to all families with students with disabilities in the district. OEC provided the district with a public meeting announcement for inclusion on its website or newsletter. On April 27, 2012 the district posted the information regarding the meeting on its website. On May 15, 2012, OEC consultants held a public meeting for parents and other interested parties. Public parent meeting dates for all districts selected for IDEA s are posted on the ODE website. One parent and one State Support Team (SST) Region 11 representative attended the public meeting. Attendees could speak to OEC representatives publicly in the meeting or individually, provide written comments, or both. One parent made comments during the public meeting. Written comment forms were available before, during and after the meeting. OEC received no written comments. There were no individual parent/guardian meetings requested or held.

2 During the public meeting, parents were advised by OEC consultants of the formal complaint process under IDEA and that their public comments did not constitute a formal complaint. The participants were also informed that while the information they provided may be helpful to the review, it may not necessarily be acted upon as part of the review process. Whose IDEA Is This? Ohio s procedural safeguards notice, was available for participants who wanted a copy. 2. Pre-Onsite Data Analysis OEC consultants reviewed district, building and grade level data. District data analyzed included the Special Education Performance Profile, Local Report Cards, and Education Management Information System (EMIS) data. The data analysis assists OEC in determining potential growth areas and district strengths. 3. Record On May 15, 2012, OEC consultants reviewed 23 records of school age students with disabilities. OEC selected records of a variety of children with disabilities from one building. Please note, not all records are reviewed for every component. 4. Staff/Administrative Findings On May 16, 2012, OEC consultants held two sessions of interviews with five administrators, six regular education teachers, two intervention specialists, one related services provider, one sponsor representative, and no school psychologists. OEC interviews focused on the following review areas: Child Find; Delivery of Services; Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and IEP alignment. A finding is made when noncompliance with a specific IDEA requirement is identified through the processes outlined above. All findings of noncompliance must be corrected as soon as possible, but no later than one year of the date of this report. OEC provides separate written correspondence to the school district and the parent/guardian when action is required to correct findings of non-compliance for individual students. Noncompliance that is identified in 30% or more of the records reviewed by OEC and substantiated through other data sources must be included in a comprehensive corrective action plan (CAP) with action steps to address each of the noncompliance findings. All noncompliance identified by OEC as part of the IDEA review, listed by subject area within this report in the of Findings and District table, must be corrected as set forth below. Corrective Action Plan (CAP) The of Findings and District identifies the noncompliance which must be addressed in the corrective action plan developed by the FCI Academy Community School District. An approved form for the corrective action plan will be provided by OEC or can be accessed on ODE s web site by using the keyword search OEC Corrective Action Plan. The corrective action plan developed by the district must include the following: Improvement strategies to address all areas of identified non-compliance, Documentation/evidence of implementation of the strategies, Individuals responsible for implementing the strategies, Resources needed, and Completion dates. State Performance Plan (SPP) results indicators may also be included in the corrective action plan to address improved performance for students with disabilities. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 2

3 The district must submit the corrective action plan to John Magee, OEC Lead Consultant at within 30 school days from the date of this report. OEC will review the action plan submitted by the district for approval. If OEC deems that a revision(s) is necessary, the district will be required to revise and resubmit. The district will be contacted by the OEC Lead Consultant and notified when the action plan has been approved. CAP Due Date: The district has 60 school days of the issuance of the letter of findings to correct all identified findings of noncompliance for individual students, unless noted otherwise in the report. Due Date: The district must correct any noncompliant policies, procedures and/or practices identified through the onsite review. OEC will verify through follow-up review of new data that the noncompliant policies, procedures and/or practices have been revised and the district is correctly implementing the regulatory requirements of IDEA. The follow-up review of new data will include review of individual student records and may include parent/staff/administrative interviews, as needed. Due Date: For questions about specific components of this report please contact: Special Education School Age: John Magee, OEC Lead Consultant, at (614) , toll-free at (877) , or by at 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 3

4 Special Education School Age Components, OEC s Findings, and District Component 1: Child Find Each school district shall adopt and implement written policies and procedures approved by the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children, that ensure all children with disabilities residing within the district, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services are identified, located, and evaluated as required by Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 and Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 300 pertaining to child find, including the regulations at 34 C.F.R and and Rule of the Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies serving Children with Disabilities. Record CF (b)(2) Record One reevaluation record indicated that the child's reevaluation was not completed within the three year timeline. OEC has verified that this student has a current ETR in place, so no additional individual correction is required. addressed in No CAP The district does not need to address this finding in a Corrective Action Plan. CF (a) Record The area was not reviewed since the district does not serve preschool children. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 4

5 CF-3 OAC (2) and OAC (4) Record Two school age initial evaluations did not appropriately document interventions provided to resolve concerns for the child performing below grade-level standards. During interviews, it was made clear that the district currently does not conduct many initial evaluations. However, interviewees stated that interventions for students who were struggling were tracked and documented in the initial ETR process. This was not evident in the records reviewed. In addition, the school psychologists who conduct evaluations for the district were not available during the interview sessions. Other Considerations The contractor who provides school psychologist evaluation services was reported as setting a standard of providing initial testing for students who were assessed as two grade levels behind their peers. This approach to evaluation for a suspected disability is not in keeping with the requirements of IDEA. OEC has verified that these students have a current IEP in place, so no additional individual correction is required. procedures and practices in place regarding documentation of intervention and supports provided prior to completion of the initial evaluation team report. addressed in CAP CF (b)(1) Record All school age student records showed evidence that the evaluation planning team included the parent. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 5

6 CF (a)(1) Record One school age student evaluation did not provide evidence that the evaluation planning team reviewed existing data on the child. The district must provide the evaluation planning form or evidence documenting existing data was reviewed during the evaluation planning process. If not, the IEP team must reconvene the ETR planning and ETR meeting. addressed in No CAP The district does not need to address this finding in a Corrective Action Plan. CF (a)(2) Record Three school age student evaluations did not provide evidence that the evaluation planning team identified what additional data, if any, were needed. The district must provide the evaluation planning form or evidence documenting additional data, if any was reviewed during the evaluation planning process. If not, the IEP team must reconvene the ETR planning and ETR meeting. No The district does not need to address this finding in a Corrective Action Plan. CF (c)(4); OAC ; and OAC Record Three school age student evaluations did not provide evidence that the evaluation addresses all areas related to the suspected disability. Staff and administrators stated that they rely on the contracted school psychologists to determine what areas need to be addressed in the evaluation process. The district will convene the ETR team to conduct a reevaluation and provide evidence that the evaluations address all areas related to the suspected disability. No The district does not need to address this finding in a Corrective Action Plan. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 6

7 CF (a)(1) Record One school age student record did not show evidence that the parent of the child was involved in determining whether the child is a child with a disability. Administrators and staff members all described extensive efforts to notify and involve parents in the decision-making process at every step of the way. The district must provide evidence that the parent was involved in determining whether the child is a child with a disability or evidence that the parent was provided the opportunity to participate in the eligibility determination as evidenced by three attempts to contact the parent. If not, the IEP team must reconvene the ETR meeting and provide OEC evidence of parent involvement. addressed in No CAP The district does not need to address this finding in a Corrective Action Plan. CF (a)(1) Record All school age student initial evaluations showed evidence that a group of qualified professionals as appropriate to the suspected disability were involved in determining whether the child is a child with a disability. CF (a)(1); (a); and (B)(21) Record All school age reevaluations showed evidence that a group of qualified professionals as appropriate to the suspected disability were involved in determining whether the child is a child with a disability. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 7

8 Component 2: Delivery of Services Each school district shall have policies, procedures and practices to ensure that each child with a disability has an IEP that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a meeting and implemented in accordance with through Record DS (a)(1)(i) Record Five school age student IEPs did not address how the child s disability affects his/her involvement and progress in the general education curriculum. DS (a)(1) Record Staff members explained how student progress, strengths, weaknesses, and current levels are reported in the profile section of the IEP. This was not substantiated in the records that were reviewed. Eight school age student IEPs did not contain Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLOP) that addressed the needs of the student. School leadership described a process for collecting data and documenting progress compared to expectations. Staff members cited work samples, grades, the student s disability, and the teachers expectations for the child as data recorded in the present levels. This was not substantiated in the records that were reviewed. five IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend the IEP to include a statement of how the child s disability affects the child s participation in appropriate activities to access, participate and progress in the general education curriculum. eight IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend the PLOP related to each goal to include: A summary of current daily academic/ behavior and/or functional performance (strengths and needs); Baseline data provided for developing a measurable goal. procedures and practices in place regarding the review of current academic/functional data when writing IEPs. No The district does not need to address this finding in a Corrective Action Plan. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 8

9 DS Record (a)(2)(i)(a) Seven school age IEPs did not contain annual goals that address the child s academic area(s) of need. Interview responses indicated that the intervention specialists rely upon the information from the ETR and from classroom teachers when determining what needs are to be addressed in an IEP. seven IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend the IEP to include annual goals that address the academic needs that were identified in the ETR or provide evidence that the IEP team, based on the severity of the needs of the child, decided to prioritize addressing the needs. procedures and practices in place regarding the IEP process of addressing identified academic needs. DS (a)(2)(i) (A) Record Nine school age student IEPs did not contain annual goals that address the child s functional area(s) of need. Interview responses indicated that the intervention specialists rely upon the information from the ETR and from classroom teachers when determining what needs are to be addressed in an IEP. nine IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend the IEP to include annual goals that address the functional needs that were identified in the ETR or provide evidence that the IEP team, based on the severity of the needs of the child, decided to prioritize addressing the needs procedures and practices in place regarding the IEP process of addressing identified functional needs. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 9

10 DS (a)(2)(i) Record Nine school age student IEPs did not contain measurable annual goals. Although staff members reported receiving training in writing measurable goals, it became clear from leadership that this is an area for improvement. nine IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend annual goals to contain the following six critical elements: 1. Who? 2. Will Do What? 3. To What Level of Degree? 4. Under What Conditions? 5. In What Length of Time? 6. How Will Progress Be Measured? The district must implement new procedures to ensure that annual goals written subsequent to this report will include the following six critical elements to demonstrate correction: 1. Who? 2. Will Do What? 3. To What Level of Degree? 4. Under What Conditions? 5. In What Length of Time? 6. How Will Progress Be Measured? 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 10

11 DS (a)(4) Record Nine school age student IEPs did not contain a statement of specially designed instruction that addresses the needs of the child and supports annual goals. Although staff members were able to describe specially designed instruction for their students, often the descriptions referred to accommodations rather than differentiated instructional techniques. nine. IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend the specially designed instruction to describe the adaption of, as appropriate to the needs of the child, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction. procedures and practices in place regarding the IEP process of determining specially designed instruction. DS (a)(7) Record Ten school age student IEPs did not indicate the location where the specially designed instruction will be provided. Other Considerations Often multiple locations were listed without clarification of frequency and amount in each location. And the term as needed was often applied to the instruction or location. ten IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend the location where the specially designed instruction will be provided. procedures and practices in place regarding the IEP process of determining the location where specially designed instruction will occur. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 11

12 DS (a)(7) Record Eight school age student IEPs did not indicate the amount of time and frequency of the specially designed instruction. Other Considerations Most inconsistencies were related to the listing of multiple locations without differentiation for time and frequency in each location. eight IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend the amount of time and frequency of the specially designed instruction. procedures and practices in place regarding the IEP process of determining the amount and frequency of specially designed instruction to be provided. DS (a)(4) Record Five school age student IEPs did not identify related services that address the needs of the child and support the annual goals. Other Considerations On the records the specific nature of the related service was often not described. five IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend the IEP to include related services that were identified as needed in the IEP. procedures and practices in place regarding the IEP process of addressing identified related service needs. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 12

13 DS (a)(7) Record Five school age student IEPs did not indicate the location where the related services will be provided. Other Considerations Many records contained vague descriptions of the location and were not specific, e.g., FCI Academy does not provide a specific location for delivery of a related service. five IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend the IEP to include the location where the related services will be provided. procedures and practices in place regarding the IEP process of determining the location where related services will occur. DS (a)(7) Record Three school age student IEPs did not indicate the amount of time and frequency of the related services to be provided. three IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and amend on the IEP the amount of time and frequency of the related services to be provided. procedures and practices in place regarding the IEP process of determining the amount and frequency of related services to be provided. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 13

14 Component 3: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and IEP Alignment Each school district shall ensure that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or nonpublic institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services. Record LRE (a)(2)(v) Record No school age student IEP(s) contained references to assistive technology that would enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum. LRE (a)(6)(i) Record Nine school age student IEP(s) did not identify accommodations provided to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum. Other Considerations Record reviews showed that the term as needed frequently was used to describe when accommodations were to be provided. In addition, the amount of extended time for students often was not specified. nine IEPs identified as noncompliant to review the accommodations that would directly assist the child to access the course content without altering the amount or complexity of the information taught and include them on the IEP. procedures and practices in place regarding accommodations. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 14

15 LRE (a)(4) Record Seven school age student IEPs did not identify modifications to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum? It became clear in interviews that modifications and accommodations were often confused in meaning. Other Considerations District personnel were under the impression that the modifications box in Section 7 of the IEP was to be used only for students with cognitive impairments, and that modifications were not permitted for other disability categories, such as Specific Learning Disability. seven IEPs identified as noncompliant to review the modifications that would alter the amount or complexity of materials or the performance expected of the child from grade level curriculum expectations and include them on the IEP. procedures and practices in place regarding modifications. LRE (a)(4) Record All school age student IEPs, as appropriate, identified supports for school personnel to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 15

16 LRE (a)(5) Record Nine school age student IEPs did not include an explanation of the extent to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular education classroom. Interview responses revealed a misunderstanding about the LRE statement and the need for justification of removal from the regular education setting. Leadership and staff members explained that parents will sometimes choose not to enroll a child with a disability when they see the school settings that are offered. Leadership also reported that all requests for resources to meet student needs is addressed in cooperation with the business manager to determine if specific needs can be met. Additionally, parents are sometimes informed that the school may not be able to meet the needs of their child if a self-contained placement is expected. Other Considerations Records often listed specially designed instruction as occurring in a special education resource room, but indicated that the child received all instruction in the regular education setting with non-disabled peers. nine IEPs identified as noncompliant to review and include a justification for why the child was removed from the regular education classroom. The justification should: Be based on the needs of the child, not the disability. Reflect that the team has given adequate consideration to meeting the student s needs in the regular classroom with supplementary aids and services. Document that the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular education classes, even with the use of supplementary aids and services, cannot be achieved satisfactorily. Describe potential harmful effects to the child or others, if applicable. procedures and practices in place regarding least restrictive environment placement decision process. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 16

17 LRE (1) Record All school age student IEPs indicated that the IEP Team included a parent. LRE (2) Record LRE (3) Record Interviewees explained the many efforts staff members use to insure parent involvement in the IEP process. All school age student IEPs indicated that the IEP Team included a regular education teacher. One school age student IEPs did not indicate that the IEP Team included a special education teacher. For the one IEPs identified as noncompliant, the district must: Provide documentation that the parent was informed prior to the IEP meeting that the special education teacher would not participate in the meeting, and Provide a written excuse signed by the parents and the district that allowed the special education teacher not to be in attendance at the IEP meeting, or Reconvene the IEP team to review the IEP will all required members present. No The district does not need to address this finding in a Corrective Action Plan. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 17

18 LRE (4) Record All school age student IEPs indicated that the IEP Team included an LEA representative. LRE (5) Record All school age student IEPs indicated that the IEP Team included a person qualified to interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results. Component 4: Data Verification Each school district shall report timely and accurate special education event records for students with disabilities; have in effect an Individualized Education program for each child with a disability with the LEA s jurisdiction and in place on or before Dec. 1, 2009; conduct initial evaluations within 60 days of receiving parental consent for evaluation; have an IEP in place for three-year olds transitioning from Early Intervention Programs on or before the child s third birthday; and have a secondary transition place in place that meets all required elements for IDEA. Record DV R.C Record All school age student IEPs indicated that the child did have an IEP in effect as reported on the LEA s December 1, 2010 Child Count Report. DV Record R.C All school age student ETRs indicated that the child did have an ETR in effect as reported on the LEA s December 1, 2010 Child Count Report. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 18

19 DV-3 SPP Indicator 20: Record Accurate and Eight school age student records had inaccurate Timely Reporting student data reported by the LEA through the of Special Education Management Information System Education Event (EMIS) for the December 1, 2010 Child Count Record Report, specifically in the following area(s): a) DOB b) IEP date (IIEP, RIEP, TIEP, CIEP, or FIEP events) c) ETR dates (IETR, RETR, TETR) d) Referral date e) Consent date f) Disability category as indicated as an outcome of ETR g) Admission date h) Withdrawal date i) Non-compliance reason for ETR or IEP date The EMIS administrator was not available during interview sessions. Other Considerations Several dates in the EMIS data were inaccurate when compared to the student records. In addition, the code for an initial IEP (IIEP) was frequently used incorrectly when the entry should have been a review of an IEP (RIEP). The district must provide evidence that they corrected the student data through their Student Information System (SIS). procedures and practices in place regarding data reporting. DV-4 SPP Indicator (c)(1)(i) Record All school age student initial evaluations reported as being conducted within 60 days of the district receiving parental consent for the evaluation conducted within the required timeline. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 19

20 DV-5 SPP Indicator 12 DV-6 A/B Record This area was not reviewed. The district does not serve preschool children who are transitioning from Early Intervention Programs. SPP Indicator 20 Record for Secondary Ten school age IEPs did not show evidence that Transition Plans the secondary transition plan reported in EMIS during was in place that meets all 8 required elements of IDEA for the student, specifically in the following area(s): 1. There are appropriate measurable postsecondary goal(s). 2. The postsecondary goals are updated annually. 3. The postsecondary goals were based on age appropriate transition assessment. 4. There are transition services that will reasonably enable the student to meet the postsecondary goal(s). 5. The transition services include courses of study that will reasonably enable the student to meet the postsecondary goal(s). 6. The annual goal(s) are related to the student s transition service needs. 7. There is evidence the student was invited to the IEP Team Meeting where transition services were discussed. 8. When appropriate, there is evidence that a representative of any participating agency was invited to the IEP Team Meeting. Staff members described a process for developing the IEP secondary transition plan that involved student interviews, guest speakers, and career discussions with students. There was no evidence 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 20 Ten current IEPs did not contain transition plans that meet all 8 required elements of IDEA. The district must reconvene the IEP teams to review and correct the secondary transition plan for the ten records identified as still noncompliant or provide documentation of the student s withdrawal date. procedures and practices in place regarding data reporting. compliance with this regulation

21 presented to document other forms of age appropriate transition assessments. Other Considerations Record reviews identified a need for training and technical assistance in developing compliant secondary transition plans for IEPs. 7/10/2012 FCI Academy Community School District Summary Report 21

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